Karmacracy, riding the Social Media WaveWritten by: Laetitia Verdier May 28, 2014
The better we understand the nature of the social media, the more we are capable of following its flows and making a good use of them. This in turn allows us to find more direct ways of profiting from its trends and making our work as marketers more effective. However, we should never lose sight of the fact there is a limit to managing or playing games with content. At some point we need to focus on delivering quality and focusing on tending to the needs of the audience. A good example of this first option is the way Karmacracy has combined metrics and gamification for developing a service for brands and consumers.
The service manages to create a seamless experience for the user by simply asking to use an url shortener that will enable Karmacracy to keep track on how the link is shared. This is then turned into a score aimed at helping brands to choose who they would like to offer a small amount of money for sharing specific content; which is related to their preferences and interests. All they have to do is to keep sharing content as usual and, if desired, engage with the service to collect achievements and build their relationship. Once the user has shared sponsored links with his friends, he’ll receive a small amount of money which he can collect in an online wallet. As soon as the earned amount reaches 20 euros, the user can collect it via PayPal.
In an ideal world the result would be that a brand ends up with natural opinion leaders at hand to whom he can trust and share branded content without disrupting their reputation among their followership. On their side, influencers end up receiving a fair reward for the mediavalue they are generating through their followership. However, as it happens any time we offer an incentive to people for doing things they are already doing, there is a backlash: it gradually becomes a way of profiting rather than one of curating content.
Offering incentives to the audience for just sharing what they do creates a distorting force in the social media, making the audience lose their authenticity and sharing for profit. We end in a similar situation as the beginning of payed blog posts and end in a situation where trust is lost.
I still consider the best way to build trust with an audience is building up quality content or engaging in highly relevant content curation. In the end, that is exactly what the audience wants. Playing games with sharing content can only last so much and will eventually lead to audience fatigue. Delivering engaging content is exactly what the audience wants and something of which we should never lose sight.
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